Summer 2021 !

The Collection Gervanne + Matthias Leridon propose you a video presenting its loans for this summer 2021

This summer take time for art!

RETOUR, a new exhibition at L’Atelier in Nantes (France)

An exhibition proposed by the Nantes associations “Les Anneaux de la Mémoire” and “La Maison de l’Afrique à Nantes”

Exhibition curators: Melanie Vietmeier and Sylvain Djache Nzefa

Exhibition poster ©L’Atelier Ville de Nantes

The exhibition “RETURN” opens its doors to the public today! RETURN has a symbolic dimension and can be read through the prism of Memory, Restitution and Reconnection. In a wide variety of expressions and aesthetics, and in an exceptional abundance of creativity, nine artists from seven countries in Africa and France look at a common history from different perspectives. The Collection Gervanne et Matthias Leridon is proud to lend one of Jems Robert Koko Bi’s major works, Homeless, for the exhibition RETOUR which will be held at the Atelier de Nantes from 27 May 2021 to 20 June 2021.

Homeless, Jems Koko Bi, 2015
©Collection Gervanne et Matthias Leridon

The sculptor Jems Koko Bi mixes avant-garde influences with his African history. As a sculptor, he questions notions of space and history by addressing the issues of migration, difference and the mechanisms of domination that exist in our society. His wood sculptures initiate a dialogue with the forces of nature. In her studio in the heart of the forest, the artist gives shape to huge wooden sculptures that question immemorial concepts such as identity, ancestral heritage, the native land or exile. The artist’s subtle and confident gestures reveal the contours of the material, sculpting forms that are sometimes figurative, sometimes abstract. The artist gives life to a surface, he awakens the material.

Homeless, Jems Koko Bi, 2015
©Collection Gervanne et Matthias Leridon

The works in the exhibition RETURN address the main questions emerging from the debate on the future of Africa’s looted heritage. The artists question the very status of ancient works of art in museums or among collectors in the West, their provenance, their methods of conservation and display. Their questioning extends to the mechanisms of oppression and exploitation since the Atlantic slave trade, to the processes of acculturation carried out by the colonizers, as well as to the illicit traffic of cultural goods from Africa and their commodification. Through memory, artists contribute to the reactivation of tangible and intangible heritage, to its transmission through reappropriation in order to contribute to the act of restitution. In this way, they shed light on the questions surrounding the need for RETURN, which will enable the younger generations to access their own cultural assets.

More information about the exhibition:
Galerie l’Atelier
1, rue Châteaubriand
44000 Nantes

Let’s go the museum !

This Wednesday, May 19, 2021, the cultural places reopen their doors to the public in France… it’s time to go to the museum to (re)discover the works of the Leridon Collection that are exhibited there!

“Wish you were here”, Mary Sibande ©FRAC MECA

If you are in Bordeaux, (re)discover Mary Sibande’s two emblematic works “Wish you were here” and “They don’t make them like they used to” at the FRAC MÉCA in Bordeaux, on the occasion of the exhibition “Memoria, récits d’une autre Histoire”, which has been exceptionally extended until 20 November 2021! To celebrate art and make it accessible to all, the exhibition is free until Saturday 22 May inclusive! Don’t wait any longer!

“Electricien”, Calixte Dakpogan ©Mathieu Lombard

If you are in Paris, the Musée du Quai Branly Jacques Chiract is hosting Calixte Dakpogan’s “Electricien” as part of the Ex Africa exhibition! After a virtual opening broadcast on the French TV channel “Culture Box”, it is high time to go and discover this exhibition in real life!


Informal conversation this Sunday 2 May between Gervanne Leridon and Gosette Lubondo!

Nadine Hounkpatin and Céline Seror from Art Momentum are launching a series of informal and intimate conversations as part of the involvement of personalities from the art world in the exhibition “Memoria: accounts of another History“, currently on view at the FRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA in Bordeaux, France.

On Sunday 2 May at 5pm, Gervanne Leridon, an art collector and Gosette Lubondo, a contemporary artist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, will have an informal conversation.

Find all the information to register for this #coffeetalk on the Art Momentum website!

« Word Woes », an exclusive retrospective on Willem Boshoff at Javett-UP Art Center, Pretoria (South Africa)

Exhibition poster ©Javett-UP Art Center

The Gervanne and Matthias Leridon Collection is honoured to sponsor the Willem Boshoff retrospective opening on March 13, 2021 at the Javett-UP Art Center in Pretoria, curated by Helen Smut. Artworks spanning the entirety of Willem Boshoff’s artistic practice will be exhibited, some for the first time!

The exhibition title, taken from a signature work by Boshoff, is understood in English and in Afrikaans. In either language the two words look identical, but their meanings differ sharply. Read in English, the title WORD WOES bemoans difficult issues around words and language. Read in Afrikaans, the same words liberate, prompting us to let go and be wild.

S.W.A.T (2011) ©Matthieu Lombard, Courtesy Collection Gervanne et Matthias Leridon

Boshoff is often interested in the context in which we receive language and the power it confers to exclude or privilege. As an artist working with words, Boshoff uses unconventional tactics to challenge the use of language as an instrument of cultural identity or exclusion. His artworks are like conceptual books. The Leridon Collection is proud to announce the loan of 7 of the artist’s landmark artworks for this exclusive exhibition: Prison Hacks (2003), S.W.A.T (2011), Oh! (2014), Five Star Runner (2015) and Blind Alphabet, L Letter (2019).

Willem Boshoff during the setting up of the exhibition, February 2021 ©Guy Spiller

The Blind Alphabet series is central to Boshoff’s artwork. It is masterfully represented in this exhibition with 90 pieces: 30 pieces of the letter L, 30 of the letter A, 15 of the letter F and 15 of the letters G and H. Like many of his creations, Blind Alphabet combines his love of woodworking and language games. The originality of this iconic work lies in its use of the Braille alphabet created for the blind. By creating a series of works of art using only the sense of touch, Willem directly addresses this blind public, excluded from museums. With humour and derision, Willem overturns the ban on “not touching” in museums and allows the blind to have access to the work.

Blind Alphabet ©Courtesy Collection Gervanne et Matthias Leridon

Practical information :
The exhibition website
To book the visits, please send an email to:

We have a letter for you !

Gervanne and Matthias Leridon, South Africa, 2020 ©Elodie Grégoire

Dear Friends,

Who would have imagined that the year 2020 would change our lives so dramatically across the globe… As the year 2021 commences, we would like to thank you for your numerous messages of friendship and encouragement, and for the commitment that so many of you have shown to our initiatives during this historic crisis.

Read more

After reading these words, take a few moments to discover an exclusive video from the Gervanne and Matthias Leridon Collection, 2020-2021 in a shortcut !

Africa Reborn

An exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly- Jacques Chirac
Virtual opening on 21 February 2021!

Poster of the opening of the exhibition Ex Africa ©Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac

Africa Reborn features more than 150 works by contemporary artists, women and men, of all generations and origins. This unique exhibition invites the spectator to decipher the relationship between the contemporary African scene and ancient African arts. This unprecedented dialogue between old and new has been imagined by Philippe Dagen, curator of the exhibition. Between photography, sculpture, painting and installation, this exhibition opens up the boundaries of possibilities and dismantles preconceived ideas.

While all the museums are closed, the opening of the Africa Reborn exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly will take place on 21 February on Culturebox, France Télévisions’ ephemeral channel. Never did before in the art world!

Calixte Dakpogan, Electricien, 2011, Iron and plastic, 32x20x18cm
© Matthieu Lombard, courtesy Gervanne and Matthias Leridon

The Gervanne and Matthias Leridon Collection would like to thank the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac for its request for the loan of the work Electrician by the famous Beninese contemporary artist Calixte Dakpogan. This work takes on its full meaning in the Africa Reborn exhibition.

Indeed, Calixte Dakpogan’s contemporary creation, Electrician, takes up ancient references linked to the so-called “classical” African arts, demonstrating with accuracy the extent to which these arts are still present and active. Inspired by Fon statues from the beginning of the 19th century and by voodoo, Calixte Dakpogan creates sculptures and masks from recycled materials in metal and plastic, to which everyday objects are sometimes added. Once welded or meticulously assembled, these various elements give life to sets that are sometimes anthropomorphic, sometimes zoomorphic. One only has to look at one of his loan creations to realise the amazing inventiveness of this Beninese artist, who creates faces through the colourful accumulation of heterogeneous elements.

Calixte Dakpogan, Electricien, 2011, Iron and plastic, 32x20x18cm
© Matthieu Lombard, courtesy Gervanne and Matthias Leridon

Lear, more about the Africa Reborn exhibition

Virtual opening of the exhibition, 21 February 2021 at 9 pm, channel 19 of the TNT and France.TV

Memoria : accounts of another History

An exhibition at the FRAC MÉCA as part of the Women’s Focus of the Africa2020 Season

(5) February – 21 August 2021 (dates to be confirmed)

Exhibition poster ©Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA

As part of the Women’s Focus of the Africa2020 Season, curators Nadine Hounkpatin and Céline Seror invite 14 African artists for Memoria : account of another History, an exhibition of 55 works, presented at the FRAC MÉCA in Bordeaux (France).

This flagship exhibition of the Africa2020 Season should have opened this Friday 5 February 2020. While waiting for it to be opened to the public, the Gervanne and Matthias Leridon Collection is honoured to unveil two of its artworks for this event: “Wish you were here” (Mary Sibande, 2010) and “They don’t make them like they used to” (Mary Sibande, 2019).

Mary Sibande, Wish you were here, 2010, mixed techniques, variable dimensions ©Collection Gervanne et Matthias Leridon

“Wish you were here” (Mary Sibande, 2010) welcomes the public and inaugurates its journey through the exhibition. Through this work, Mary Sibande tells us her personal story, which finally seems to go beyond borders to become a collective narrative. The artist explores stereotypical representations of women and the question of identity in the post-apartheid context of South African society. The artwork features the symbolic figure of ‘Sophie’, the name commonly given by the white bourgeoisie to black domestic servants in apartheid South Africa. The artist nourishes her discourse and her art by drawing on the lives of the women in her family, their dreams, their demands and their fears.

“Sophie represents all women […], she is a member of my family, but at the same time she is connected to all women in South Africa,” says Mary Sibande.

Mary Sibande has always had a special interest in design and textiles, and was considering becoming a fashion designer before choosing the world of fine arts. Wish you were here embodies this world cherished by the artist, “Sophie” is dressed in an imposing blue Victorian dress topped with a white apron. With her eyes closed, this character seems to be carried away in her dreams, thinking of other possibilities.

Mary Sibande, They don’t make them like they used to, 2019, Digital Print, Edition n°5/10, 113,5 x 78 x 4 cm ©Matthieu Lombard

Mary Sibande offers us both an introspective work and a societal critique of the status of women in South Africa. “They don’t make them like they used to” questions us as she looks at both the past and the future, as if to give us advice and benevolence to better reverse the course of history.

Mary Sibande’s works are strong in their power of narration. Don’t wait any longer to discover the exhibition Memoria : account of another History at the FRAC MECA in Bordeaux!

Memoria : account of another History intends to challenge stereotypes, narratives and preconceived ideas. The works on display will each tell you a story and raise questions. While shifting the boundaries of art to highlight a rich individual and collective diversity, this exhibition renews the viewer’s perspective on contemporary creation from Africa and its diasporas.

Read more about the exhibition

Co-constructed by African professionals in partnership with French institutions and implemented by the French Institute, the Africa2020 Season is a pan-African and multidisciplinary project, focusing on innovation in the arts, science, technology, entrepreneurship and the economy. This season is none other than the sounding board of these agents of change who are shaking up codes, experimenting with new relationships to the world and impacting contemporary societies. It will take place from 1 December 2020 to mid-July 2021 throughout France (France and overseas territories).

Read more about the Africa2020 Season

The exhibition “Mabele eleki lola! The earth, brighter than paradise” extended until 15 August 2021!

An exhibition by Freddy Tsimba at the AfricaMuseum
29.10.2020 – 15.08.2021


Mabele eleki lola! The earth, brighter than paradise” is the first temporary exhibition at the AfricaMuseum since its reopening in 2018. After some untimely disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the exhibition is once again open to the public… and is exceptionally extended until 15 August 2021!

Matthias Leridon, In Koli Jean Bofane and Freddy Tsimba, AfricaMuseum, October 2020 ©Raymond Dakoua

The Gervanne and Matthias Leridon Collection attended the opening of this unique exhibition, in which the artworks of the artist Freddy Tsimba interact with the collections of the AfricaMuseum. You must go discover the artworks loaned by the Gervanne and Matthias Leridon Collection for this exhibition : “Encore un effort” (2011), “I’ll not give them my diamond I, II, III” (2014) and “Réveil Sommeil” (2011).

If you cannot go there, please take a few moments to (re)view the latest Artist Talk produced by the AfricaMuseum with the artist Freddy Tsimba, the writer In Koli Jean Bofane and the philosopher Nadia Yala Kisukidi!

Learn more
The exhibition “Mabele eleki lola” !
Specific measures for a safe visit !

Best wishes 2021 !

The Gervanne and Matthias Leridon Collection wishes you all the best for this new year. On this occasion, the collection highlights the talent of the young photographer Alice Mann in an original video!

Alice Mann, Wakiesha Titus et Riley Van Harte, Cape Town, South Africa, Serie Drummies, 2018, Digital inkjet print, 81 x 101 cm ©Alice Mann, courtesy Afronova Gallery

The artwork Wakiesha Titus and Riley Van Harte, Cape Town, South Africa explores the majorettes’ world in the townships of South Africa. Beyond glitter and glamour, these young majorettes assert their identity, their culture and their autonomy. The pink and purple tones, the softness of feathers, sequins… this world of sweetness and trinkets is confronted with the precariousness of the place: trash and dilapidated staircase. This dizzying face to face confrontation takes us beyond appearances to better tackle the harsh reality that accompanies these majorettes on a daily basis. Far from gangs and urban decay, they confront our gaze and challenge us. These young girls are experienced sportswomen and are used to competitions. They practice their art to better emancipate themselves from their surroundings and their environment. Alice Mann documents here the rise of a new feminist culture.

Discover an exclusive interview of the artist below!